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Complaining Homeless Families Never Applied For Shelter, Phila. Official Says

(Homeless families sleep outside Philadelphia's Office of Supportive Housing, in the 1400 block of Cherry Street.  Photo by Jim Melwert)

(Homeless families sleep outside Philadelphia’s Office of Supportive Housing, in the 1400 block of Cherry Street. Photo by Jim Melwert)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The day after a group of homeless families spent the overnight hours outside the city’s office on homelessness, saying they’ve been denied shelter, a spokesman for the mayor says the shelters are simply full, and the group never actually applied.

The homeless families said bureacratic red tape led to being denied beds in city shelters (see related story).

But the mayor’s spokesman, Mark McDonald, said the shelters — 24 in all — are at capacity.

“If the shelter sysem is full, we can’t take any more people into it, and I think that is the issue here,” McDonald tells KYW Newsradio.

Another issue, according to McDonald, is that the group never went through the formal intake process.

“I don’t have any evidence that they actually filled out applications and met with a worker and placed themselves in line,” he said today.

The city has 24 shelters at 23 locations: 11 for families, with a total of 1,500 beds, and 13 for either men or women, with about 1,000 beds.